War Drums Beat For Trump To Strike Assad

(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump is facing growing pressure from members of Congress and the American foreign policy elite to strike Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad over a chemical attack he allegedly carried out against Syrian civilians Saturday.

Assad is suspected of authorizing a chlorine gas attack which struck a house in Douma, Syria Saturday that killed dozens of women, children and other civilians in the basement.

Trump lashed out at Assad on Twitter demanding that he open the area to chemical inspectors and warned of a “big price” to pay.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a noted advocate for military action against Assad, followed up Monday saying that he hopes “Trump sends a signal to Assad and every other dictator in the world – when you cross red lines, you’ll pay a very heavy price.”

Former Senator Joe Lieberman follows Graham on Fox and Friends to say he agreed that military strikes should be on the table in response saying “I see Assad’s use of chemical weapons again as a kind of an arrogant, either provocation to us or a statement to his enemies on the ground there.” 

Republican Senator Susan Collins told CNN Sunday that Trump should consider targeted strikes on Syrian military facilities in response to the attack.

Senator John McCain also joined the chorus of calls for military action saying “the President responded decisively when Assad used chemical weapons last year. He should do so again, and demonstrate that Assad will pay a price for his war crimes.”

American foreign policy fixture Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations and frequent media commentator, joined lawmakers in urging Trump to quickly respond to Assad’s attack.

He told Mike Allen of Axios that Trump has three possible course of action. All three options were some variation of military action.

Eurasia Group president Ian Bremmer followed up on Haass’ advice and recommended that Trump assemble a coalition of allied nations and coordinate strikes on Assad, larger than those ordered in April 2017 in response to a sarin gas attack.